Hiking - Iron Mountain Wildflower Loop

           Photo courtesy of traditionalmountaineering.org

Iron Mountain’s panoramic summit is one of the Old Cascades’ most popular hiking goals. Many people hike the trail in the wrong direction missing the best views of the veritable wildflower cornucopia with over 300 species, along with some 17 tree species. With peak wildflower blooms in early July, this will be an adventurous, challenging, and gorgeous day! 

                         Photo courtesy of oregonhiking.com

We will begin at the Cone Peak Trailhead and hike through the alpine meadows on the east side of Tombstone Pass to get the best views of the wildflowers that make this area famous. We will then connect with the Iron Mountain trail and summit Iron Mountain. From the viewing platform that now stands in place of the old fire lookout there are spectacular views of the Three Sisters, Three-Fingered Jack, and Mt. Jefferson await. When visibility is good, one can see other Cascade crest peaks such as Mt. Hood and even Mt. St Helens. Both the North and South Fork Santiam canyons are very visible, as is Browder Ridge to the southeast. Hiking back down to the main trail, we will continue our loop to Santiam Wagon Road and back to our cars. Total mileage is approximately 6.8, with elevations from 4000' to 5455' This hike rated moderate to difficult and is not recommended for beginners.

Photo courtesy of marioberenbergphotography.blogspot.com

Driving Directions: Leaving Best Buy at 8:00 a.m. We will head north on I-5, take the OR 228E (Halsey-Sweet Home Hwy exit) to Sweet Home. From Sweet Home, travel east on Highway 20 (Santiam Hwy) for 36 miles to Tombstone Pass. Watch for the parking area on the right, between milepost 63 and 64. Walk to the end of the parking lot beyond the bathroom to find the trailhead. (Northwest Forest Pass required) 

Additional Details: Due to the popularity of this trail, I am limiting participation to twelve people. This is an extremely busy trail; please, no dogs on this trip. There will be other hikes available for that. Thank you.

Depending on the rate of snow melt, there could be patches of snow along our hike.  

Bring a packed lunch and about two liters of water for the hike. Please come prepared and pack your basic essentials. 

We will stop somewhere for supper on our drive home. Suggestions for restaurants are welcome. We should return to Best Buy around 7:30 p.m.

Contact: Susanna Hamilton[masked]

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  • Susanna

    Fabulous hike! Fabulous folks! Fabulous thunder!

    1 · July 13

    • Michael A T.

      Also Susanna could you send the names of your sleeping bag and pad. Thanks!

      July 16

  • Michael A T.

    Thanks so much Susanna, Steve, and Addy for such an awesome time. For sure the conversation was awesome. Looking forward to more outdoor funtimes with you guys!! Ill definitely check out the boardgames event in the morning if I can as I may have to be in Portland for conference that day by the afternoon. Really digging out pictures by the way!

    July 13

  • Susanna

    Thanks to all the folks who signed up for this event for updating your RSVP, or calling me when you didn't have access to a computer to make the update. Also, thanks for letting us know if you were running late this morning. It makes hosting so much easier and more pleasurable. Happy Sunday evening, all!

    1 · July 13

  • Steven

    Michael and Addey, thanks for adding such great conversation to an awesome day!

    The Eugene Games Gala free game day is next Saturday, the 19th at the Holiday Inn on Kruse Way in Springfield (not the Express).

    Drop by for a single game or stay all day, and into the night. Hours normally run from 10am until 9pm.

    Several people bring some or all of their game collections, so there is always a new game to play. We will happily teach every game we play.

    The main Corvallis area Hiking meetup is Adventures Around Oregon - http://www.meetup.com/Adventures-Around-Oregon/

    2 · July 13

  • Michael A T.

    Ill be running slightly behind. Hope to be there by 7:45-50. Sorry for the inconvenience. :(

    July 13

    • Susanna

      Thanks for letting us know. We will be waiting.

      1 · July 13

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm so jealous! It sounds splendid. But a medication I have to take prevents me from doing anything that will cause me to get hot... like over 80deg F. So I'll be at the Coast chillin' my feet and ankles in the icy waters. Have fun!

    July 12

    • Susanna

      Enjoy the coast! And the cooler weather.

      1 · July 12

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks! NOAA's prediction's were completely wrong and it was totally cloudy, sunless and a bit chilly the entire afternoon. So I shivered in my oh-so-fabulous retro 60s bikini and Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" giant black straw hat, writing, studying French and entertaining my husband. A seaside picnic to remember. LOL!!!

      July 12

  • Susanna

    Steven and I have room for 2 more, besides ourselves.

    1 · July 10

    • Susanna

      Yes, we have room for you in our vehicle. See you at Best Buy in the morning! Cheers

      July 12

  • Susanna

    Thanks for the input, Laura. I hope you enjoy a restful day tomorrow. Cheers!

    July 12

  • Laura

    I won't be going tomarrow, was able to go today with friends from out of town. It was VERY HOT. Bring more water than you think you will need, a hat and sunglasses. Happy hiking!

    July 12

  • Susanna

    Also, I have confirmed with the the USFS that IFPL fire levels have started to rise. Any person driving into forest service or BLM lands must also carry the following in their car at all times. (The fine is hefty if you get checked and don't have them.) Shovel with minimum 8" blade and minimum 26" handle; axe with minimum 26" handle; minimum one gallon of water or 2.5 lb fire extinguisher; minimum one-gallon bucket. Please be sure you are prepared. There are dry thunderstorms expected over the next few days.

    2 · July 10

    • Matthew H.

      Thanks for the information, Susanna. Greatly appreciated.

      July 11

  • Michael A T.

    I hope to help share gas and carpool with you Susanna. Thanks!

    July 10

  • Susanna

    If you are planning to drive, please take a moment to let us know, and how many passengers will fit in your vehicle with you. Thanks!

    1 · July 10

  • Susanna

    If you are planning to drive and do not have a forest pass already, be sure to pick one up before heading up the mountain. As of April, the Forest Service Ranger Stations are no longer open on the weekend.

    1 · July 10

  • Susanna

    As for the weather on the mountain, expect it to be hot, upper 80's at least. Sunscreen, a hat, and a minimum of 2 liters water (3 is preferred) should be carried. There is no water on the trail or at the trailhead. Therefore, extra water in your car for after the hike is recommended.

    July 10

  • Carolanne

    Does an access pass do double duty has Northwest Forest Pass -- i.e., does National Forest count as recreational lands? And how does the heat at that altitude compare with this steamroom of a valley?

    July 10

    • Susanna

      As for the weather on the mountain, expect it to be hot, upper 80's at least. Sunscreen, a hat, and a minimum of 2 liters water (3 is preferred) should be carried. There is no water on the trail or at the trailhead. Therefore, extra water in your car for after the hike is recommended.

      1 · July 10

    • Susanna

      Also, I have confirmed with the the USFS that IFPL fire levels have started to rise. Any person driving into forest service or BLM lands must also carry the following in their car at all times. (The fine is hefty if you get checked and don't have them.) Shovel with minimum 8" blade and minimum 26" handle; axe with minimum 26" handle; minimum one gallon of water or 2.5 lb fire extinguisher; minimum one-gallon bucket. Please be sure you are prepared. There are dry thunderstorms expected over the next few days.

      1 · July 10

  • Michael A T.

    Do I need to purchase a Northwest Forest Pass for this trip?

    July 7

    • Susanna

      Yes, we will carpool from Best Buy. See you Sunday.

      2 · July 8

    • Matthew H.

      How many drivers already have the Northwest Forest Pass? If you are attending, please bring it with you. Otherwise, a one day pass is available for $5.

      July 8

  • Garry

    I can't make this trip as I will be camping on the McKenzie. I plan on doing it Monday or Tuesday. Have a great hike.
    Happy trails to you, until we meet again.....

    1 · July 7

  • Matthew H.

    Great trail to enjoy! I will be with family, enjoying our annual weekend trip at the coast. Have fun, and take lots of pictures!

    June 10, 2014

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